Cubs Play Spoiler, Contreras is the Leader, Rendon Season Over, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Cubs Play Spoiler, Contreras is the Leader, Rendon Season Over, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Even in a season like this, even after a losing streak like that … the Cubs winning still has such an impact on my mood. It’s wildly unhealthy, but I enjoyed the ride last night! And Keegan Thompson’s start still has me buzzing.

  • The Cubs really played the part of spoiler yesterday:
  • Oh, also? You gotta love Willson Contreras sprinting over to the plate as soon as Christopher Morel hit that fly ball, and then VERY AGGRESSIVELY directing Jonathan Villar on where to slide.
  • You can also see it in the way he is around his teammates, and the things he says (NBC): “I don’t want to put the cameras on me because I’m saying it. I’m just trying to lift this team up because losing sucks. I know that losing sucks, but the only thing that can change is your attitude. If you’re having a bad day but your attitude is right on point, you’re going to end up having a good day like we did today. It’s not about me, it’s about the Cubs. It’s about this team and I love my team.”
  • Big day for Willson today, too:
  • I wonder if we’ll get a roster move before today’s game, or if the Cubs will go day-to-day on Frank Schwindel and his back. Unlike so many other possible injury situations, this one is pretty clean in terms of the roster move, if necessary: you’d just put Schwindel on the IL, and call up Alfonso Rivas.
  • Fun fact about Caleb Kilian’s cutter and slider – they’re not actually two different pitches. From Kilian’s perspective, he doesn’t really throw a slider yet:
  • The soft cutter there sure looks like a slider, but maybe not a great one. The cutter is a really good pitch when he can command it, which he has not been able to do through two starts. Kilian should be starting again next week against the Pirates.
  • David Bote is back at Iowa doing the rehab thing:
  • Nice Father’s Day moment right here (shared by the father):
  • Oooooof for Anthony Rendon and the Angels, once again:
  • A four to six-month recovery for wrist surgery for Rendon, 32, and you wonder what happens for him in the years ahead. Structural wrist injuries to hitters can be like structural shoulder injuries to pitchers: degradation at the margins of physical ability such that you’re “able” to keep playing, but you’re just not ever the same. What a disaster that signing has been. Rendon, who is owed an AAV of $35 million through 2026, was good in the pandemic season and then thoroughly mediocre for his partial seasons in 2021 and now 2022. His ability to make really hard contact just evaporated in his 30s.
  • These performance and injury concerns are among the risks with monster contracts for players, especially those in their 30s. You have to (1) really be careful in who you choose, (2) get a little lucky, (3) understand the best years are likely to come early, and (4) be in a position to not have the contract cripple your budget if something goes wrong. (The Cubs should check all of those boxes this offseason when looking at the shortstop class, and also some of the top starting pitchers.)

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.